“Do You Want a Wedding? Or Do You Want a Marriage?” and other links…

A Moment to Reflect Brown Sugar: “I know plenty of black women who have every detail of their wedding planned, yet they have no man. I know women who were obsessing over wedding magazines, but had never had a conversation with their future spouse over how the finances are going to be handled. There are couples who spend tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding and all of its surrounding events, but have yet to have a conversation how many children they are going to have, if any.” At this moment of my life-long change, it seems healthier to me to frame this not as a “black woman” problem but as an issue of the general state of consciousness. Often there is an implication that a solution to these problems lies within the source of the problems. The solutions involve fundamental shifts in consciousness—it’s not like going out and buying a Prius.

“Black Denial in the Dominican Republic”

BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS: “Several women said the cultural rejection of African looking hair is so strong that people often shout insults at women with natural curls. …‘I cannot take the bus because people pull my hair and stick combs in it,’ said wavy haired performance artist Xiomara Fortuna. ‘They ask me if I just got out of prison. People just don’t want that image to be seen.’ …The hours spent on hair extensions and painful chemical straightening treatments are actually an expression of nationalism, said Ginetta Candelario, who studies the complexities of Dominican race and beauty at Smith College in Massachusetts. And to some of the women who relax their hair, it’s simply a way to have soft manageable hair in the Dominican Republic’s stifling humidity.” It should not be a surprise that a strong theme about my Black women is coupled tightly with concern with “exposure” and seeking ostentatious and expensive forms of concealment. It is rare to see a nude Black woman—even when she is wearing no clothes.

“Diversity Lacks; Minorities Underrepresented”

Shadow And Act: “So, here’s a reasonable question: given that the percentage breakdown of film and TV roles for all groups pretty much matches the percentage makeup of the country, is that fair enough? I can hear right-wingers like Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly argue that, well, whites make up the majority of the nation’s population, so, it makes sense that they make up the majority of the film and TV roles available. Is that a fair argument?”

The Historical Significance of the ASP.NET ListView and DataPager and Why I am Still Looking for a Job

Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie at MIX07 Yes, I am still looking for a job. I know Ed Dunn gave me advice to look for something more but I am sure there are plenty of my sisters out there who have failed to get the message out that they are looking for serious partnerships—and it’s not like I’m hiding from potential partners/investors. What I notice during the lowly job interview and meeting my fellow Americans in general is that they insist they know more about me than I know about myself. So, in many extreme cases, it does not matter what I say or how I say it—these folks have ‘a very strong vision’ of me to which they are committed. What it takes is a tremendous amount of chemistry to break these bonds—and one of the reasons why I majored in physics was to avoid taking chemistry.

I had to take chemistry to major in pharmacology. The plan was to become an expert in drugs in preparation for the religious conversion in the first years of medical school. Once I found out that I disliked 1980s chemistry education (for its crude rote ways), my medical school plans were finally laid to rest. My high-school-era idea of being a doctor was outdated anyway. What my parents did not know what that the fantasy of the country doctor was being systematically assassinated by Big Pharma and “the healthcare industry”—most U.S. doctors are highly paid employees instead of independent partners.

So, what happens during one too many technical interviews is that my lack of knowledge about ASP.NET forms is “exposed”—I say “exposed” because many of these interviews feel like criminal investigations into finding impostors and liars (and it enrages me to be thought of as an impostor and a liar—which is quite self-destructive and I need to get over this). You see, kids, ASP.NET forms make it easy for developers who don’t give a shit about the Web to make Web sites. That’s a primary design goal. The problem with this design goal is that it sacrifices performance, testability and maintainability for this ease of use. These sacrifices hurt business—but these businesses will defend/invest in ASP.NET forms blindly because of its entrenchment. And these business “leaders” will scoff at me with a smirk of condescending disinterest in hearing me talk about ASP.NET MVC.

In dnrTV.com show #149, “Bill Wolff on ASP.NET Technologies,” as far as I’m concerned Bill and Carl are basically talking directly to me when they lament over the fact that ASP.NET “Web Forms” can seduce developers into a false sense of productivity. In fact, Bill Wolf identifies the .NET-3.5-era ListView and DataPager as Microsoft’s apology for almost all of the other data-rendering ASP.NET forms server controls. Over two years ago, Rick Strahl was already (slowly) accepting this apology (which why he is still surely making money in this business and I’m currently not):

I spent a couple of hours today looking over the ListView and DataPager controls in ASP.NET 3.5. Both controls sound interesting and both provide welcome new features to the ASP.NET control arsenal. Although I’m a little wary of having yet another list control (as if we haven’t enough of those already between DataGrid, DataList, Repeater, GridView and now the ListView) the ListView control kind of combines functionality of all of these controls into one. Maybe the most important feature of this control is that like the Repeater control it provides much more control over the rendering process at the cost of more markup code in the page.

The ListView is a sort of hybrid between a DataGrid and Repeater that combines the free form templating of the Repeater with the editing features of the data grid. It looks interesting because it basically allows you much more control over the layout than a DataGrid does while still giving you many of the more advanced features of the data grid. The ListView doesn’t support paging natively, so the DataPager serves as an external control to provide paging features. The advantage of a separate control is that it gives you much more control about what the pager looks like and where it can be placed on the page—anywhere basically. The Pager is essentially an extender control that extends the ListView with paging capabilities.

Campus Construction You see, kids, I was never around to accept this ‘apology.’ I left the building—that particular structure on the Redmond campus. I left before “Web 2.0” blockbusters like flickr.com came out to woo Wall Street… I was long gone before Microsoft even publically wrote or spoke the word “RESTful” in connection with their new .NET offerings. Where was I? I was using ASHX handlers and XSLT waiting for Scott Guthrie to come to power… But the problem—my problem—which is now a financial problem—is that the tough job market that Ed Dunn warned me about does not need to see just how difficult it is to build a system with ASHX handlers and XSLT. What many of them are looking for are warm bodies that worked with perfect contentment with ASP.NET “Web Forms”—they are not looking for “rebellious” mavericks doing shit that’s not a keyword in a resume search. This does not make me angry because it is a fact. I already explained earlier what makes me angry.

I know me quite well. I can’t make me do things just for money—many times this is an inconvenient truth. I need a conceptual impetus to make a move. And this idea of addressing my apparent “lack” of skills in ASP.NET forms by studying patterns featuring the ListView and DataPager is appealing to me. I could “wish” that I picked up on this concept three years ago—but that’s just wishing. Now that I have found a point of entry into this ‘old world’ of ASP.NET “Web Forms” I can have what I call a ‘compromise’ with the employers out there that should help avoid me going homeless and my children less protected.

By the way, I could also “wish” that what I now know about ASP.NET MVC was available to me four months ago—especially when I was in talks with VEVO. I am objectively unable to regret what has happened. For me, regret comes when I remember explicitly rejecting an explicit offer that was meant to help me later. I leave the implicit and the unspoken to the real street hustlers. In my poverty (which is not about the money), kids, I have no regrets.

“An Open Letter from the Invisible One…”

My favorite public Invisible Woman of the cinema has trouble:

When I very first started blogging 2 years ago, I was stunned to find out that people would repost, or take an idea of mine, and write it as their own, with not even a smidgen of acknowledgment to me. And some of the sites were very big and well read. I didn’t know whether to be flattered that people were taking notice and imitating, or be pissed off. What can you do anyway, as the internet is not like the bookworld, with copyrights and things?

My somewhat reliable instincts inform me that whatever I write here will not really bring relief. So I’ll expectorate anyway—which is exactly the irony I’m looking for… My situation as a Blog writer is quite different. This is what I mean from 2005:

You see, reader, the professional public persona appeals to the voyeuristic sickness of its targeted audience. The goal is to trick the readers into thinking that they discovered a voice of unbiased innocence or to convince the reader that they have gained privileged access to an expert specialist. The reader is then seduced into thinking that they are condescending to a questioning inferior or ascending to the expertise of a specialist, exploiting the discovery for their own needs.

Richard Dreyfus and Allan Carr (photo by Alan Light) My decision to “sabotage” my chances at becoming a ‘professional public persona’ here in the Blog-o-sphere, is a systematic, cathartic (arguably self-indulgent) move that avoids the wonderful “problem” that our Invisible Woman has. But for my mental health I must admit that many of the subjects broached in this Blog space are not even permissible to talk about in my so-called “personal life.” It is not because these subjects are profane. It is because they are not.

There are hundreds of items saved here that have nowhere else to go—this is either a revelation of my ultimate uselessness or a strong statement of the kind of society in which I “live.” The great thing about information technology is that we have tools to measure how others out there are faring in the “real world”—others who may have a voice similar to mine. These measurements add to my swagger that ambles toward continuing what I am doing—in spite of the lack of feedback and “popularity.” Assuming that my archiving techniques work, my children—at least—can look at my work and have a deep understanding of the kind of bleak, empty, bankrupt world I lived in. They might even be wealthy enough to weep for me—not because I’m their father but for the poverty of the world…

When an attempt is made to become a “pro” Blogger self-censorship can become an ironic form of madness—ironic because these “clean” dudes are wont to call me crazy. Once the public statements become somewhat sanitized, then they are quite easy to copy. Once an interview of a relatively famous person asks relatively tame questions (by my “wacky” standards) then this interview can be copied. My “artistic” intent and my natural-born personality prevent these kinds of copies from being made. I am certain that the Invisible Woman is more than capable to stop this kind of copying.

Leo Laporte is my poster boy of a “mainstream” podcaster and Blog publisher. Yet he has been quite candid and very open at times. He has been so personal that some of his content cannot be copied without the effort of editing. It is important to me mention this guy as a partial role model for folks like the Invisible Woman and others in the Black-somewhat online world. In my opinion, when Blacks in public and private decide to “clean up” their “act” for a larger audience of potential fun and profit, my peoples tend to overdo it.

And, of course, part of their over-zealous “cleaning” is to steer clear of accused dysfunctional “angry” Blacks like me. I actually want “my” ideas to be copied—but you have to work hard to find the value and make the copy. So far, most peeps take it easy and move on… this is why I am still very, very impressed with the folks over there at liberatormagazine.com that sample me (with full credit) from time to time.

And a note about popularity: just look at the depth and length of the feedback given to me by the anonymous Ann in “The Jewel Woods ‘Black Male Privilege’ Checklist.” I would be a guilty, obsessive-compulsive wreck with just two people responding to my work with such detail. I would not be able to respond in kind to this level of attention—so it is strangely a kind of relief to been watched from the distance most people maintain from me in the online world. When I was a kid, I saw Richard Dreyfus on TeeVee explaining just how horrible being famous can be. He seemed so sincere and earnest that I took to heart every word he said.

My Black history lessons show me two things:

  • One, being famous can get you killed by petty jealous white supremacists who are ashamed to compare themselves to Black people in front of their women and children. This death is often literal.
  • Two, fame is a byproduct of imperial captivity (imperial “civilization”). It is a deep, deep error for a so-called “Afrocentric” person to take fame seriously as a universal, eternal absolute when it should be treated like a 5000-year-old fad. In the Old Kingdom, ideas were the celebrities. Ideas, anthropomorphized in stone…

Note: Photo of Richard Dreyfus by Alan Light.

Amiri Baraka Media at AmiriBaraka.com

The Great Amiri Baraka In my terribleness I forgot about amiribaraka.com. I’ve noticed that I look intensely into something in early days, find little and assume that improvement will not come later. I’ve not found a way to remind myself to look into something several years later. Perhaps scrolling forward on some calendar program and dropping an appointment…

So the media page at AmiriBaraka.com is quite populated and interesting. I look forward to seeing more there. When they take requests then I should be ready to tell them to collect remix tracks of Amiri spoken word donated and ready to download for free. The serious collector should be happy to pay for a compilation iTunes LP—but independents can’t get to this white privilege at the moment.

By the way: you can check out Amiri Baraka here in the kinté space.

Design Diary: Dependencies in List Segment Detail.sql ‘Hard’ to Remove

SSIS-ing This SQL command joins the [Log] table with external tables (in the GenericWeb database). This t-SQL join operation cannot be efficiently decoupled in SSIS with something like the Merge Join Data Flow Transformation—this would require selecting all of the [Log] data (millions of rows) and then sorting it with GenericWeb Segment data.

The Segment data can be selected first and its grouped Document data can be used as a constraint against the [Log] data. This would require looping through the Document groups and querying the [Log] data multiple times. This approach seems to require dynamic SQL. This is explained in “SSIS: Using dynamic SQL in an OLE DB Source component.” But once this programmatic editing procedure is allowed then why not just edit the original SQL join such that references to [WebKinteSpace] are replaced with another GenericWeb database?

Another Way?

This cross-database, join operation fills the target [Log] report table in one pass. It should be possible to fill this table in two passes in SSIS. The first pass makes the ‘external’ connection to the GenericWeb database and inserts rows. The second pass updates with ‘internal’ Log stats. Once this design is in place, evidently what is next is to look into “SQL Server Integration Services SSIS Package Configuration”—or “Using XML Package Configurations with SQL Server Integration Services SSIS.” When we right-click on the SSIS Package design surface, we see the Package Configurations… command. This configuration stuff should help me remove any hard references to GenericWeb databases.

Also…

I am using ADO.NET connections too liberally. When parameters are not an issue, I should be using “faster” OLE DB connections—according to Dave Fackler.